More missionaries, slight rise in Mormon converts

Published on April 30, 2014 at 12:49PM

Last year’s historic increase in Mormon missionaries didn’t’ lead to an immediate spike in converts, but church officials say it’s too early to draw conclusions. Figures released by the church show that after lowering the minimum age for missionaries, the number of proselytizing members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints increased by 41% in 2013. The number of converts, however, only increased by 4% last year. Church leaders say it’s problematic to draw conclusions about the impact of the increase in missionaries based on comparing conversion numbers from 20133 to the year. They say much of last year was spent ramping up to be ready for the increase.

The onslaught of new missionaries was triggered by the church announcing in the fall of 2012 that men could start missions at 18 instead of 19, and women at 19 instead of 21. Men serve two years, women 18 months. The 85,000 proselytizing members serving now around the world are far more than at any time in church history. There are currently 15 million members of the faith.